LOS ANGELES – The Denver Nuggets, fueled by 34 factors from Jamal Murray, dominated Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns 125-107 Saturday in sport one in every of their NBA Western Convention semi-final sequence.
Denver’s two-time reigning NBA Most Precious Participant Nikola Jokic scored 24 factors and grabbed 19 rebounds as six Nuggets gamers scored in double-digits to offer the highest seeds a convincing victory towards the possibly explosive Suns.
Jokic had even gone as far as to say the Suns might be thought-about favorites within the sequence, and Phoenix seemed harmful as they related on 66.7% of their pictures from the sector in a nip-and-tuck first quarter that featured 14 lead modifications.
They led by one heading into the second interval, however the Nuggets inexorably took management to guide 68-51 at halftime.
Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon confirmed out in Recreation 1 ⛏️
Joker: 24 PTS, 19 REB, 5 AST
AG: 23 PTS, 6 REB, 69% FG
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2023
Denver responded to each run the Suns produced and Phoenix — led by led by 29 factors from two-time NBA champion Durant and with 27 from Devin Booker — didn’t get the deficit under 10 factors within the second half.
With 5 minutes remaining, Phoenix waved the white flag and pulled their stars.
Deandre Ayton scored 14 factors and Chris Paul had 11 for the Suns, however Denver had 16 three-pointers to Phoenix’s seven and scored 18 factors off 16 Suns turnovers.
Murray drained back-to-back three-pointers to launch a 14-0 fourth quarter run that carried the Nuggets to a 120-95 lead.
It was greater than a glimpse of the shape Murray flashed earlier than lacking all of final season due to a torn left knee ligament suffered in April of 2021 — and the 26-year-old was delighted to be again in motion after lacking the final two post-seasons.
“It’s good to play on the most precious time of the 12 months and make an impression,” he informed broadcaster TNT.
Denver, who improved to 38-7 at house within the common season and playoffs, host sport two of the best-of-seven sequence on Monday.
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